The 1-22-14 edition of the New York Times has, on the front page and extending for several more pages, a very thorough article about the current issues and controversies about ADHD. It is, I think, an excellent summary for mh professionals who want to get an update, and also could be provided to patients or parents who would like a thorough, detailed and, I think, objective summary about ADHD issues and controversies. The article quotes C. Keith Conners, who developed the Conners rating scales and CPT tests, several times.
Dr. Conners is highly critical of the current rate of diagnosis and prescribing for ADHD:
“He questioned the rising rates of diagnosis and called them “a national disaster of dangerous proportions.” “The numbers make it look like an epidemic. Well, it’s not. It’s preposterous,” Dr. Conners, a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University, said in a subsequent interview. “This is a concoction to justify the giving out of medication at unprecedented and unjustifiable levels.”
I looked up what Dr. Conners is currently doing and was surprised to find that he has two LinkedIn accounts, one with 17 connections and one with 110, so if you are a LInkedIn member you can connect with him and be part of a small group- I suspect that he is new to LinkedIn and will have a lot more connections soon. On the Duke website he is featured as having a research project focusing on psychosocial interventions for ADHD. He also has a blog, “Keith’s Space,” with copies of some interesting speeches (but nothint posted since 2011): http://ckconners.wordpress.com/author/ckconners/
The NYT article goes on to discuss controversies about ADHD medication. For example, “The Food and Drug Administration has cited every major A.D.H.D. drug — stimulants like Adderall, Concerta, Focalin and Vyvanse, and nonstimulants like Intuniv and Strattera — for false and misleading advertising since 2000, some multiple times.”
And, “Even Roger Griggs, the pharmaceutical executive who introduced Adderall in 1994, said he strongly opposes marketing stimulants to the general public because of their dangers. He calls them “nuclear bombs,” warranted only under extreme circumstances and when carefully overseen by a physician.”
And, “The primary A.D.H.D. patient advocacy group, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or CHADD, was founded in 1987 to gain greater respect for the condition and its treatment with Ritalin, the primary drug available at the time. Start-up funding was provided by Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals, Ritalin’s primary manufacturer. Further drug company support helped create public service announcements and pamphlets, some of which tried to dispel concerns about Ritalin.”
The article concludes by noting, “Today, 1 in 7 children receives a diagnosis of the disorder by the age of 18. As these teenagers graduate into adulthood, drug companies are looking to keep their business,” and goes on to discuss, pretty critically, marketing ADHD medication for adults.
The full article is available at: